Don’t you wish you could just stumble upon a gold mine and strike it rich? Well, apparently, if you use termites, you might just be able to do that. A new study in Western Australia found that while termites are collecting subterranean material for their nests they also stockpile any gold they come across.
Entomologist Aaron Stewart and his colleagues stumbled across this discovery when they were studying the nest material of several termite nests in order to compare it to nearby soil samples. They used a mass spectrometer to meticulously break down and identify what the nest material was comprised of. The researchers found that termite nests that were closer to gold deposits contained much more of the precious metal than nests farther away. This shows that the termites actually make an effort to collect the precious metal when they come across it.
Termites could end up making pretty handy detectors of underground gold deposits. Gold is usually found a few meters below the ground, a depth to which termites regularly travel. So, they naturally come across it when they are building their nest, while us humans have a hard time detecting the precious metal when it’s so far below the surface. Next time you want to get rich quick just get some termites and spread them out. Then just dig under and near the nest that has the most gold in it. Easy as pie…right?
Are you going to get some termite crews together and go searching for gold? Why do you think termites collect gold?